Sackings sadden Norwich City boss Lambert

Canaries boss Paul Lambert says managers deserve more loyalty from clubs – and believes even success doesn't guarantee employment.

Lambert heads into the international break with City sitting second in the Championship and favourites to go up with Queen's Park Rangers to the Premier League.

The Scot is regularly linked with managerial vacancies on the back of his stunning 19 months in charge at Carrow Road, during which time he has taken the club from the lower reaches of League One to within eight games of one of the richest prizes in football.

But while Lambert has prospered, all around him fellow managers have fallen victim to the axe. Only last week, his successor at Colchester United, Aidy Boothroyd, was sacked by Coventry – and two days later Scunthorpe United, City's next opponents, showed Ian Baraclough the exit door. Yesterday, Port Vale of League Two parted company with Jim Gannon after just three months.

'The span of a manager is getting less and less,' said Lambert. 'You are talking about managers moving and people are talking about loyalty to football clubs. There has got to be a two-way thing. Clubs have got to show loyalty to managers if managers show loyalty to them – you can't have your cake and eat it.

'But what happened to Aidy I thought was wrong and what's happened to Ian at Scunthorpe – it is wrong some of the things that happened.'

Lambert is in an enviable position, but while the need to succeed and meet expectations brings its own pressures, he admits it's at the bottom end of the Championship table where it is at its height.

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'I think it's the lads at the bottom, it's not great,' he said. 'I can understand what people are going through and probably their feelings on it. It can't be nice.

'I think it's pathetic the amount of managers that have left – that's 12 or 13 now in the Championship.

'But even when you do well there is no stone cold certainty that you are going to stay.

'The pressure is always there, but they don't get time. It is not fair, it's not right.

'It can happen if you are doing good, bad or indifferent.

'To run a football club you have got to get results as quick as you can to try and stay in it. Every game you are under pressure. At Norwich you have got that and the size of the club that puts you under pressure. The fans put you under pressure, the club puts you under pressure, but you either thrive on it or you buckle under it. It is up to you how you deal with it.'

Lambert has dealt with it well, judging by results, but perceived failings have led to a total of managers sacked by Football League clubs this season to 29.

Last season, the job expectancy of a Football League manager was 1.4 years and in the whole of the domestic game, only three managers had been in charge at their clubs for more than 10 years – Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, Arsene Wenger at Arsenal and John Coleman at Accrington Stanley.

Of the 92 league clubs, five are still without a manager – and with less than two seasons under his belt, Lambert is already the 33rd longest serving manager.

The odds are that more managers will be out of work before the season ends, with Derby's Nigel Clough and Sheffield United's Micky Adams tipped to be among the first facing the axe.


• Longest serving managers

1 Sir Alex Ferguson (Man Utd) 25 seasons

2 Arsene Wenger (Arsenal) 15

3 John Coleman (Accrington) 12

4 David Moyes (Everton) 9

5 John Still (Dagenham & Redbridge) 7

6 Dave Jones (Cardiff) 6

7 Tony Pulis (Stoke) 5

8 Paul Tisdale (Exeter) 5

9 Mick McCarthy (Wolves) 5

10 Sean O'Driscoll (Doncaster) 5

• Championship survivors

1 Dave Jones (Cardiff) May 2005

2 Sean O'Driscoll (Doncaster) Sept 2006

3 Kenny Jackett (Millwall) Nov 2007

4 Simon Grayson (Leeds) Dec 2008

5 Billy Davies (Forest) Jan, 2009

6. Nigel Clough (Derby) Jan 2009

7 Malky Mackay (Watford) June 2009

8 Paul Lambert (Norwich) August 2009

9 Mark Robins (Barnsley) Sept 2009

10 Brian McDermott (Reading) Jan 2010

11 Neil Warnock (QPR) March 2010

12 Steve Cotterill (Portsmouth) June, 2010

13 Nigel Pearson (Hull) June, 2010

14 Brendan Rodgers (Swansea) July, 2010

15 Keith Millen (Bristol City) August 2010

16 Sven-Goran Eriksson (Leicester) Oct 2010

17 Tony Mowbray (Middlesbrough) Oct 2010

18 Micky Adams (Sheffield Utd) Dec 2010

19 Phil Brown (Preston) Jan 2011

20 Dougie Freedman (C Palace) Jan 2011

21 Paul Jewell (Ipswich) Jan 2011

22 Eddie Howe (Burnley) Jan 2011

Without a manager: Coventry, Scunthorpe.